Soccer

DeAndre Yedlin echoes grandpa's heartbreak over George Floyd's death

DeAndre Yedlin echoes grandpa's heartbreak over George Floyd's death

DeAndre Yedlin is one of the United States Men's National Team's most recognizable faces, with more caps (62) to his name than all but three players (Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Brad Guzan).

The Newcastle United right back also is African American, and he revealed in a Twitter thread Tuesday that his 74-year-old grandfather texted him "a couple days" after George Floyd's death in police custody in Minneapolis to say he was happy his grandson was in England, not the United States, during this time.

Yedlin understood why, tweeting that each "American needs to ask themselves if there is 'liberty and justice for all,' and if their answer is yes, then they are part of the problem."

Yedlin shared his thoughts hours after Newcastle's Twitter account posted a picture of the club's players kneeling in a circle before Tuesday's training session with the hashtag #UnitedAsOne. Liverpool and Chelsea also tweeted pictures of their players kneeling Monday and Tuesday, respectively, along with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.

Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, died last Monday in Minneapolis police custody after a white officer -- who has since been fired, arrested and now faces charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter -- pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for over eight minutes. Floyd died two months after the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor -- a 26-year-old African American woman -- by police in Louisville and three months after the killing of Ahmaud Arbery -- a 25-year-old African American man -- by two white men, and nationwide protests of systemic racism and police brutality have sprung up over the last week.

[RELATED: Bruce Maxwell's kneel still sparks hate, misunderstanding]

Some demonstrations have turned destructive, with violent police response alongside looting and rioting. Numerous cities and municipalities across the country have started to institute curfews.

The outrage isn't limited to the United States, with protests occurring in London, Berlin and Paris, among other cities around the world. In the Bundesliga, which is the only major European league that has resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, a handful of young stars honored Floyd and the ongoing protests last weekend.

Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie, a 22-year-old African American man, wore an armband bearing the message "Justice for George." Borussia Dortmund wunderkinds Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi -- 20 and 21, respectively -- both lifted their kits to reveal shirts saying "Justice for George Floyd" after scoring goals. Twenty-two-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thurman took a knee after scoring.

The laws of the game prohibit “any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images," but the English Football Association said Tuesday players would be able to follow in McKennie, Sancho, Hakimi and Thurman's footsteps without fearing punishment. German soccer authorities have said they're investigating whether McKennie should face sanctions for wearing the armband.

Watch Man City give Liverpool honor guard for winning Premier League

Watch Man City give Liverpool honor guard for winning Premier League

As is customary but not necessarily compulsory, Manchester City players applauded their Liverpool opponents as they took the pitch Wednesday at the City of Manchester Stadium.

City gave Liverpool a guard of honor to commemorate the Reds' first-ever Premier League title, which was clinched after City's loss to Chelsea last week. The reigning champions clapped on their successors in Liverpool's first match since becoming the earliest Premier League side to win the title.

You can go back to 1955 when a guard of honor made its first appearance in the top flight of English soccer, when Manchester United applauded then-First Division champions Chelsea as they took the pitch. They've been common in the Premier League, and City themselves received one when they clinched the title during the 2017-18 season.

What made Thursday's guard of honor striking was seeing the reigning Premier League champions give one. This isn't the first time that's happened, as Chelsea honored Leicester City in 2016 after winning the league the previous season.

Leicester's title was a massive upset, whereas Manchester City fended off a fierce Liverpool challenge to win the Premier League last season. City's margin of victory atop the league (1 point) was owed almost entirely to a January 2019 win over Liverpool. Nevertheless, Pep Guardiola said his players would honor Liverpool's achievement.

"We will greet Liverpool, when they come to our house, in an incredible way," Guardiola said last week. "We are going to do it because they deserve it."

[RELATED: Klopp's reaction to PL title exactly why Kerr admires him]

Liverpool's 23-point lead over City entering Thursday was far bigger than either club could've expected before the season, and the Reds' eventual margin of victory surely will shape Guardiola's approach to the impending transfer window.

Even before then, Thursday's guard of honor should drive home how far City have to climb back atop the Premier League.

José Mourinho rips VAR, Spurs' mindset after disputed disallowed goal

José Mourinho rips VAR, Spurs' mindset after disputed disallowed goal

Tottenham Hotspur's dim hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League weren't extinguished because of a controversial call Thursday, but Spurs manager José Mourinho nonetheless addressed it in his post-match interview.

Kind of.

Sheffield United beat Tottenham 3-1 at Bramall Lane on Thursday, but Spurs appeared to equalize fewer than 30 seconds after the Blades initially took the lead. Harry Kane's apparent equalizer was called off after a VAR intervention, as video official Michael Oliver determined that a Lucas Moura handball led to the goal.

Mourinho said he couldn't say all that he wanted because he'd be suspended, but still managed to hit out at Oliver when Sky Sports asked the manager if he'd spoken to the referee.

"The one here is not the referee," Mourinho said, implying that the video assistant referee's authority supersedes the on-field officials. "The referee is hidden in some office at, I think, St. George's Park. ... The referee's there. This man on the pitch is not the referee. He doesn't make the decisions. The main decisions of football now are made by the man in the office. So, I don't speak with the assistant referee that today was with the whistle on the pitch."

Moura appeared to be fouled and the ball hit his hand as he fell to the ground, but intent doesn't matter. The International Football Association Board's (IFAB) update Laws of the Game dictate that "a goal scored or created with the use of the hand or arm" must be disallowed.

Kane's disallowed equalizer unquestionably took the wind out of Spurs' sails, and Sheffield United scored two more goals in the second half as a result of Tottenham's lackadaisical defending.

Spurs hired Mourinho to steer the club back into Champions League contention after a slow start under beloved former manager Mauricio Pochettino, but Tottenham dropped to ninth place thanks to Thursday's loss. Tottenham now are seven points back of fifth place -- which could be good enough for Champions League qualification if Manchester City's ban from the competition is upheld this month -- and even the Europa League looks like a distant dream.

Mourinho criticized his squad's response to the overturned goal when he spoke with reporters after the match.

“We have to be mentally stronger to cope with what happened in the game," Mourinho said (via Football.London). "We cannot mentally die after Michael Oliver’s decision. I know it’s difficult to take, In the second half we had ball but we didn’t have chances to change the game.”

[RELATED: City gives Liverpool guard of honor for winning Premier League]

Hitting out at the officials and deriding his players' mentality?

Spurs aren't in peak form on the pitch, but Mourinho sure is in his press conferences.